Higher Education Institutions face challenges related to the slow progress regarding the implementation of the UN Decade of ESD (2004-2015).This is due to a number of barriers such as, limited staff awareness and expertise, overcrowded curricula, lack of new teaching methods and courses to address sustainability. As a response to these challenges, seven European Universities with considerable experiences in the fields of ICT and ESD formed a Consortium entitled "ICT-enabled in Education for Sustainable Development." This project develops a joint Master degree (deployed on an advanced virtual platform) in ICT in ESD which will be offered in English. The course will target experienced practitioners in schools, community education, NGOs, government bodies and development agencies, all of whom are engaged in applying ESD.
The content/curriculum will be based on participatory design (e.g.involving end-users in the process); interdisciplinary; contextual (dealing with local/globalissues); holistic (balancing environmental, social, cultural and economic pillars of sustainable development); and interactive (ICT-based). It integrates reflective/problem based learning and provides tools and services that facilitate "social networking" that allows for virtual collaboration and virtual peer mentoring amongst learners and e-tutors. The project will produce: a) a curriculum for the joint Master degree amounting to 120 ECTS; b) an e-training toolkit on ESD for training e-tutors; c) a virtual learning platform to manage and deliver the content of the curriculum and thee-training toolkit; d) training of 25 university staff as e-tutors. The project will: advance ESD in Europe and globally; respond to the Bologna priorities for reforming HE through more accessible and flexible learning opportunities; promote the UN Decade of ESD; and advance ERASMUS virtual student and staff mobility and prepare European teachers for building more sustainable futures.
EU: Lifelong Learning Programme
University of Crete, Daugavpils University, Dublin City University, Frederick University, University of Graz, Open University of Cyprus, Uppsala University
Uppsala University leads the work dealing with needs analysis and virtual learning management system. In particular, having expertise in Human-Computer Interaction, we participate in all activities related to design the system's user interface, and develop and test the first prototype. Our group at Uppsala University contributes to the development of the new web-based ESD curriculum and of a virtual student/staff mobility scheme, especially as it concerns the tasks related to ICT. Because of its leadership in building the Virtual Learning System's interface our group also contributes to the ESD digital content modules. Finally, Uppsala University contributes to the dissemination of the research findings through national/international conferences, joint scientific writing, meeting and forums as well as through the Baltic University Programme.